Posted by: kshayes513 | December 5, 2009

If Earth Had Rings

What if the Earth had rings like Saturn’s?

A friend pointed me to this fabulous short video by Roy Prol, that shows how a ring system would look from different latitudes on Earth, and at different times of day. Very beautiful! Be sure your sound is on.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

You can find this video on many sites. I found it here on Flixxy, where there’s additional information and a link to the Wikipedia article on the Roche Limit which influences how and where planetary rings form.

I wonder how a ring system would affect our current satellites and space program? Would the rings be far enough away that our satellites and spacecraft would orbit inside them? Would they have any effect on Earth’s magnetic field and on satellite communications? How much would the rings interfere with astronomical observations from Earth?

If anyone is science geek enough to have the answers to these questions, please post a comment and let us know! Meanwhile, we can all imagine living on a planet where we might take nighttime walks by  “ringlight.”

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